LA’s Iconic Case Study Houses (Finally!) Make National Register

Case Study House #22, (playboy), 1960 , CA / Pierre Koenig, architect © Julius Shulman

Ten of Los Angeles’ Case Study Houses have been deemed historically significant and worthy of being included on US’s . Despite the Los Angeles Conservancy’s belief that all of them deserve “equal preservation protections,” the 11th home was not included due to “owner objection.”

The Case Study Houses spawned from a post-WWII residential experiment, presented by the Arts & Architecture magazine in 1945, which introduced modern movement ideas for affordable and efficient housing. Designs by the likes of Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, Pierre Koenig, Eero Saarinen and others, redefined the modern home and, with the help of Julius Shulman, placed Los Angeles as an epicenter for mid-century modernism.

The 11 homes included on the register are:

P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S’ Latest Expressive, Experimental Pavilion: Textile Room

© Monica Nouwens

This article originally appeared in Metropolis Magazine’s Point of View Blog as “Working at the Crystalline Level.

-based P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S is among the most intriguing and progressive firms working in architecture today. They seem relentless in pushing boundaries in areas like ultra-light-weight high-tech materials and immersive media. They are also very thoughtful and patient in the way they approach design.

This is good because what they are engaged in and the way they work takes time. By collaborating with engineers and innovators in different industries they are slowly changing the way architecture is carried out and conceived on material and ontological levels. They don’t do spec homes, they do what’s new, and sometimes try to do what hasn’t been done yet.

Founder and co-principal Marcelo Spina and co-principal Georgina Huljich both teach, he at and she at UCLA, where they pursue research interests with students and then reflect that back into their small but energetic practice tucked away in one of Los Angeles’ rustic urban edges, Atwater Village.

One thing to recently emerge from this office is the experimental carbon fiber pavilion they call Textile Room.

SOM Breaks Ground on Los Angeles’ Courthouse

© SOM

Just eight months after being awarded the design-build contract with Clark Construction Group, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) has broke ground on the new, $318 million United States Courthouse in downtown . This is a long-awaited achievement for the city of , as attempts have been made to construct a new courthouse since 2007. However, despite having to abandoned a $1.1 billion Perkins + Will proposal years ago, many believe this sustainable and more cost-effective design by SOM was worth the wait.

The Indicator: Two Shows, Many Cities: “A New Scuplturalism” at MOCA and “Never Built” at the A+D Museum

Pereira and Luckman, LAX original plan, 1952, Rendering. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports Flight Path Learning Center.

Here in Los Angeles we have a complicated relationship with architecture and two con-current museum exhibitions demonstrate this in ironic and puzzling ways. This came into clear relief when, on Saturday, August 03, 2013, something amazing and unprecedented happened: architecture was on the front page of a major US newspaper, the Los Angeles Times.

This, it must be said, is a very unusual thing for architecture. Moreover, it was not the type of architecture you might expect to grab the spotlight. It was the un-built original plan for Los Angeles International by Pereira and Luckman, c. 1952. If you’ve been to LAX you’ve seen their Theme Building. They also did the plan for LAX that was finally accepted—the less visionary, less ambitious plan. This was being re-presented to the world in the context of “Never Built” a show about the unrealized architectural dreams of Los Angeles currently showing at the A+D Museum.

South Los Angeles Animal Care Center & Community Center / RA-DA

© Ralf Strathmann

Architects: RA-DA
Location: 1850 West 60th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90047,
Design Lead: Rania Alomar
Project Manager: Sofia Ames
Designers: Carolyn Telgard, Jesse Madrid
Structural Engineer: John Labib & Associates
Mep Engineers: Creative Engineering Group
Civil Engineer: RBF Consulting, EW Moon
Specs Writer: Chew Specifications
Contractor: Mackone Development Inc
Building Owner: City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
Other Team Members: Los Angeles Animal Services
Year: 2013
Photographs: Ralf Strathmann

Never Built: Los Angeles

Frank Lloyd Wright, Huntington Hartford Athletic Club, 1947 (Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation)

After years of extensive research that unearthed countless untold stories and hundreds of beautiful unbuilt designs, curators Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin will be celebrating the opening of their highly anticipated Never Built: Los Angeles - today at the Architecture and Design Museum in .

LAX Completes First Phase of its $1.5 Billion Terminal

Courtesy of Fentress Architects

Phase 1 of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, the largest public works project in the history of , has been completed. The new , designed by Fentress Architects to be a LEED-certified landmark for the city, will feature a flowing, ocean-inspired roofline, a three-story,150,000-square-foot Great Hall, and one of the most advanced multimedia Integrated Environmental Media Systems (IEMS) in the world. The $1.5 billion project has been funded solely from LAX’s operating revenues, without public funds.

2013 Los Angeles Architectural Awards Announced

Hospitality Award: Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea – Clubhouse / Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design + Heerim Architects and Planners

In addition to honoring renowned architect Ray Kappe with a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Business Council has awarded thirty-one county projects for their design excellence, and community impact at the 43rd annual LA Architectural Awards.

The 2013 Los Angeles Architectural Award Winners:

In Discussion: Peter Zumthor Speaks with Michael Govan About the LACMA Redesign

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In a crowed auditorium in central Los Angeles on Sunday, Swiss architect sat down with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) director to kickstart the opening of The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA. The hour-long discussion, captured in the video above, began with an insightful overview of Zumthor’s most famous works before moving to an in-depth conversation about the underlying ideas that drive Zumthor’s design for the highly anticipated LACMA overhaul.

The project – already six years in the making and yet still in its schematic phase – plans to replace LACMA’s aging cluster of three pavilions with an elevated, 21st century facility. A detailed project summary, alongside images captured from Zumthor’s 6 ton, concrete exhibition model, is available for you to review here on ArchDaily. Enjoy! 

A First Look at Peter Zumthor’s Design for the LACMA

© 2013 Museum Associates / LACMA

Coming at a crucial time in which is at risk of “losing its reputation as a center for innovative architecture,” museum director and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor have unveiled preliminary plans for what they hope will be the new home of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). If approved, this $650 million proposal – nearly six years in the making – would replace the dated William Pereira-designed campus and its 1986 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates-designed addition with an organically-shaped, energy efficient, dark-grey concrete and glass Zumthor original.

More information after the break, including Peter Zumthor’s project description…

‘Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype’ Exhibition & Installation

© Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype, , 2013

Opening October 11 until December 1, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) will present ‘Lebbeus Woods is an Archetype’, an and public art installation which highlights the well-known American architect’s work, including several original, rarely seen Woods drawings from private collections. Complemented by a symposium and catalog, this in the SCI-Arc Gallery and related large-scale public art installation in the Arts District’s Bloom Square, aims to demonstrate the fearless nature with which the late visionary architect and draftsman created. More information on the after the break.

New LA Subway Could Spell Acoustical Doom for Gehry’s Disney Hall

Disney Hall / Gehry Partners

Architect Frank Gehry has voiced concerns that the new Los Angeles subway, scheduled for construction in two to three years, may disturb concerts in his famous Disney Hall. The planned subway line would run 125 feet below the venue’s parking garage and recent simulations have shown that the rumblings could be audible inside the concert hall. Gehry has called for the review of previous noise projections for the metro project, which two years ago predicted no audible impact on his design. “It would be a disaster for Disney Hall,” Gehry told the LA Times. “The flag is up and we should go over it and make sure.”

Read more after the break.

The Indicator: Pilgrimage, Experiencing the Eames House

© J. Paul Getty Trust

I pass by the Eames House almost every day at about 35 mph on my way down to PCH, the sand, the waves, the subterranean tunnels, and the tsunami zone, where LA coughs up its junk on the urban beach, where the Westside comes to its logical conclusion. Sometimes traffic is backed up so far up the hill—this is , after all—that I sit motionless and adjacent where the house should be, but can’t actually see it. I listen to the engine, the radio, the sound of helicopters and leaf blowers. The house is silent somewhere behind a wall of dense tropical flora.

My first actual visit to the house was when I was barely thinking about architecture. In a way it was my introduction to the possibility that someone could do architecture, that it was something one could succeed at. It was optimism on real estate once considered solidly middle class. Improbably light-weight and even painterly, like a Mondrian composition, it sits in a perfectly mundane American yard, like the delicate skeleton of a bird perched over the Pacific.

‘A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California’ Exhibition

Eric Owen Moss Architects, Samitaur Tower, Culver City, California, 2008–10 / © Tom Bonner

Taking place June 16 – September 16 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, ‘A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California‘ will be the first extensive, scholarly examination of the radical forms that have become prolific in Southern California architecture during the past twenty-five years. It will examine the role of Los Angeles–based architect Frank Gehry, arguably the most significant and innovative architect of the later part of the twentieth century, and the generation of Los Angeles architects that followed him, including Greg Lynn, Michael Maltzan, Thom Mayne, and Eric Owen Moss, to name a few. For more information, please visit here.

The Indicator: The Lure of the Vernacular

© Edward Ruscha-The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2012.M.2) / Edward Ruscha photographs of Los Angeles streets and related documentation: Santa Monica Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, Pacific Coast Highway and other streets.

There is something soothing, even easy about vernacular architecture. It’s the territorial and spatial equivalent to Muzak. It evades and pre-dates the self-conscious identity of glitzy, cutting-edge architecture we are so familiar with today. There is an innocence to the vernacular. These are the buildings and environments of childhood.

This is apparent in the , In Focus: Ed Ruscha, currently showing at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. What captivates about the shots is that they dare to curate buildings that are usually just part of the background. They become objects of curiosity, spectacles, even.

Augustus F. Hawkins High School / CSDA Design Group

© Henry Cabala/

Architects: CSDA Design Group
Location: Augustus F. Hawkins High School, , CA 90044, USA
Landscape Architect: Melendrez Design Partners
Area: 351070.0 ft2
Year: 2012
Photographs: Henry Cabala/ CSDA Design Group

‘Stormcloud’ Installation / Oyler Wu Collaborative

Courtesy of

With the Southern California Institute of Architecture celebrating its 40th anniversary, the Stormcloud installation was designed and built by the office of Oyler Wu Collaborative, along with students of , for the after-party of its April 2013 gala. Tasked with the challenge of revamping the existing Netscape pavilion, Oyler Wu Collaborative saw the project as an opportunity to take a completely different approach to the problem.  By removing the ten miles of knitted ropes that once hung between the soaring steel trusses, the project was transformed both volumetrically and materially. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Sessa Residence / J,P:A

© Taiyo Watanabe

Architects: J,P:A
Location: , , USA
Architect In Charge: Jones, Partners: Architecture
Design Team: Wes Jones, Rachel Bitan, Matt Daines, Janiva Henry, Steven Purvis
Area: 2,000 sqft
Year: 2012
Photographs: Taiyo Watanabe